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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

Monday, May 22, 2017

District Man Pleads Guilty to Narcotics and Firearms Charges Relating to His Operation of an Open-Air Drug Market

Defendant Was on Supervised Release for Felony Offenses When Arrested

     WASHINGTON – Marques Henderson, 36, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to narcotics and firearm offenses stemming from his operation of an open-air drug market in Southeast Washington, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips, Andrew Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).


     Henderson pled guilty before the Honorable Tanya S. Chutkan in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to one count of unlawful distribution of cocaine base and using, carrying, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. The plea agreement, which is contingent upon the Court’s approval, calls for an agreed-upon sentence of 10 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Judge Chutkan scheduled sentencing for Sept. 8, 2017.


     The government’s evidence established that Henderson, known on the street as “DA BEAST,” was the subject of investigations by both the FBI and MPD and that he sold PCP and crack cocaine in the 300 block of Ridge Road SE with his base of operations at 359 Ridge Road. In the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized five firearms, numerous rounds of ammunition, distribution quantities of PCP and crack cocaine, and numerous types of drug paraphernalia.


     As part of his plea agreement, Henderson acknowledged selling PCP and crack cocaine to an MPD undercover officer on four separate occasions and having both PCP and crack cocaine on his person, along with a loaded firearm, when arrested on June 20, 2016, by the FBI.


     At the time of his arrest, Henderson was on supervised release for three separate felony cases in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He now faces formal revocation of his supervise released and additional incarceration, separate from the above-referenced sentence, from the U.S. Parole Commission.


     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Phillips, Assistant Director in Charge Vale, and Chief Newsham commended the work of the FBI/MPD Safe Streets Task Force in shutting down Henderson’s drug trafficking operation. They also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony Scarpelli and Christopher Macchiaroli of the Violent Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section and Paralegal Specialist Candace Battle.

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
Updated May 24, 2017